Dr. Christopher Gargamelli
Veterinary Specialists of CT is excited to welcome Dr. Gargamelli to our Emergency and Critical Care Team!
Dr. Christopher Gargamelli is an emergency clinician with over 12 years of emergency medicine and surgery experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree, with Distinction, in Animal Science from Purdue University in 2000 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 from Purdue University.
Dr. Gargamelli is also the program coordinator for the veterinary technology program at Middlesex Community College. In addition, he currently serves on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Veterinary Service and the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association Board of Directors. His professional memberships include: the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society, and Gamma Sigma Delta.
Dr. Gargamelli has been published in The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He has lectured on topics including pain management and leadership in veterinary medicine. Dr. Gargamelli enjoys expanding his knowledge by obtaining many hours of continuing education each year.
Outside of the classroom and veterinary hospital, Dr. Gargamelli enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, two rabbits, a turtle, and a fish.
Dr. Christopher Norkus, DVM, DACVAA, CVPP, DACVECC
Chief of Staff- Criticalist and Anesthesiologist
Dr. Norkus began his veterinary career over 20 years ago as a veterinary technician, ultimately obtaining duel Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) status in both emergency-critical care and anesthesia. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2004 and proceeded to veterinary school at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2011.
Dr. Norkus completed a prestigious internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York City followed by a residency in anesthesiology at Kansas State University. Following this, Dr. Norkus became board-certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and was credentialed as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner in 2015. Dr. Norkus then completed a second three-year residency in emergency medicine and critical care at Allegheny Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty in Pittsburgh, PA and became board-certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2018.
To date, Dr. Norkus has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and is the editor for the landmark textbook, Veterinary Technician’s Manual for Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care, which is now in its second edition. He lectures regularly for both regional and national audiences. Dr. Norkus’ professional interests include toxicology, acute and chronic pain management, and critical care medicine and anesthesia. Dr. Norkus enjoys cooking, cars, hiking, and traveling in his spare time.
Charity Uman, DVM
Medical Director - Emergency and Critical Care
Dr. Uman obtained a Master of Science degree in Animals and Public Policy from the Cumming Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine Center, Center for Animals and Public Policy. She received her DVM from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has been in practice since 2010.
After graduation, she completed a clinical internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA. While there, she received the Sharon Drellich Memorial Award for exhibiting a high level of professionalism, collegiality, and compassion.
Dr. Uman is involved in many aspects of veterinary medicine, having worked in general medicine, emergency medicine, and non-profit animal facilities. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society, International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, Association of Avian Veterinarians, National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, and Connecticut State Animal Response Team. She has also responded to a handful of oil spills as a previous member of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Oil Spill Response Team.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, including her rescue animals Kona and Boston, or enjoying the outdoors all year round via trail running or snow-shoeing.
Paul Usechak, DVM, DACVECC
Dr. Usechak received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University in 2005. He then completed his internship training in veterinary emergency medicine at Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital in 2006.
Following several years of rigorous residency training in veterinary emergency and critical care at Louisville Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Services, he attained Board Certification in the specialty of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Medicine. During his internship, residency, and ER clinician positions, he gained extensive experience in anesthesia, trauma, and emergency surgical procedures in dogs and cats.
His professional interests include transfusion medicine, traumatology, anesthesia and pain management. Returning home to New England, Dr. Usechak is excited to join the staff of Veterinary Specialists of CT. In his free time, he enjoys paddling, reading, and cooking.
Lourie Yelton, DVM
Dr. Yelton is a 2006 graduate of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, CT in 2007.
Since graduation, Dr. Yelton’s practice has focused primarily on the field of emergency and critical care medicine and surgery. She has served as an ER clinician in specialty and 24 -hour emergency hospitals in New England.
Her professional interests include trauma medicine, infectious diseases, and geriatric animal care. Emergency veterinary visits can cause anxiety for pets and their human families. She strives to make these difficult situations as comfortable as possible. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their furry children, and horseback riding.
Jennifer Halley, DVM
VeterinarianDr. Halley graduated from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in Equine Medicine with Damascus Equine Associates in Maryland. She has practiced with several Emergency and Referral Centers in Maryland, as well as a progressive day practice in Virginia. She is proud to have served in the United States Navy before attending veterinary school. Her professional interests include emergency medicine, toxicology, and pain management. She loves working closely with clients to ensure they understand as much as possible about their treatment plans for their beloved family members. Her experience as both a day practice vet, an ER vet, and a pet owner has taught her how it scary an emergency visit can be and she works very hard to mitigate that fear for both your pet and for you. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Connecticut with her three energetic Shelties, cooking, reading, and visiting family in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Radu Nastase, DVM
Dr. Nastase graduated from the University of Agronomical Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine from Bucharest, Romania in 1994. He worked at the Animal Medical Center in New York City from 1995-2000 before going to Tufts University for additional clinical studies.
In 2002, Dr. Nastase finished his General and Emergency Internship at the Boston Road Animal Hospital in Springfield, MA and completed a one-year Surgical Internship at the Veterinary Specialties Referral Center in Pattersonville, NY in 2003. From 2005 to 2007, he worked for a pharmaceutical company in the Research and Development branch. Dr. Nastase then returned to the Emergency and Critical Care of companion animals at Boston Road Animal Hospital, where he continued to pursue his areas of interest in surgery, pharmacology and pathology.
Since January 2016, he has been a welcome member of the Emergency Team at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford. He loves northern CT because of the proximity to the mountains, ocean and the cities of Boston and NYC as well as the availability of local fresh food. He lives with his wife and their two children and in his personal time, he enjoys gardening, hiking, skiing, reading, and travel.
Adel Benedek, DVM
Dr. Benedek is a 2009 graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She then completed a surgical internship at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.
Since graduation, Dr. Benedek is involved in many aspects of veterinary medicine, having worked in general medicine, preventative medicine, emergency medicine, and at some non-profit animal organizations.
Her professional interests include surgery, trauma medicine, pain management.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and their furry and feathery children HD, Ceiba, Pop-ups; and Boo (dogs); Sebastian (rabbit); 2 ducks and 5 chickens.